There are many different forms of exercise and ways of getting into shape or staying in shape. Walking is among the best of them. By walking you will burn up more energy than you would just sitting and reading. If you don’t eat more to compensate, you will at the very least lower your rate of weight gain.
Over a lifetime most people who don’t watch themselves carefully will gain 1-2 pounds a year. Do this consistently between the age of 20 and 70 and you will have gained between 50 and 100 pounds. The amount of extra calories consumed is only between 10 and 20 each day, which is equivalent to finishing the last bit of a sandwich or leaving behind on your lunch plate each day of the year. You could have burned it off by walking up several flights of stairs during the day but maybe you didn’t do that.
Walking is good for your general health as well. It staves off big up and down swings in blood sugar concentration. Avoid this result by taking a short walk after eating. Short 15 minute walks after each meal is more effective in regulating blood sugar concentration than one 45 min walk. In addition 40 minutes of walking three times a week strengthens memory and improves the senses and reaction times. A 10 minute walk can also improve your attitude and general psychological fitness for up to two hours.
Regular walking tends to steady your blood pressure and can have a very positive effect on your blood vessels and heart, protecting you against developing heart disease. If you slowly increase heart rate during a walk by starting slowly and then walking more rapidly so that you increse our heart rate to about 75-80 percent of the maximum allowed for your age, and do this for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a week, you will strengthen our heart considerably and make it easier for the heart to work. It’s pumping action becomes more effective, by pumping more while doing less work. This also improves the health of the circulatory system, the arteries and veins through which the blood flows.
Walking regularly is also known to decrease cancer risk. Regular walking may do this in part by regulating metabolism and improving immune function, though all forms of exercise may have similar effects. Various reports suggest that cancer patients who walk regularly are less likely to die from the disease while regularly walking can reduce the risk of a subsequent cancer diagnosis.